About the Book:
Title: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: Del Rey
Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night comes a dreamy reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico.
Carlota Moreau: a young woman, growing up in a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. The only daughter of either a genius, or a madman.
Montgomery Laughton: a melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol. An outcast who assists Dr. Moreau with his scientific experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas and plentiful coffers.
The hybrids: the fruits of the Doctor’s labor, destined to blindly obey their creator and remain in the shadows. A motley group of part human, part animal monstrosities.
All of them living in a perfectly balanced and static world, which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Doctor Moreau’s patron, who will unwittingly begin a dangerous chain reaction.
For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and in the sweltering heat of the jungle, passions may ignite.
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When I saw this stunning cover and that the book was written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, I knew I had to read this book. Moreno-Garcia is such an amazing storyteller, and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the story. A reimagining of HG Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau set amid growing conflicts in the 1870s Yucatan Peninsula, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is a thought-provoking and compelling story with powerful themes of humanity, morality, and more.
Moreno-Garcia never fails to write engaging stories that immerse the reader into a unique and fantastical world. The author deftly pulls the reader into the story using sensory, figurative, and descriptive language. The story is dark, lush, haunting, atmospheric, and so incredibly vivid, and I love how it weaves history with science fiction.
The characters are also meticulously crafted and complex, especially Carlota, the only daughter of Dr. Moreau. Hers is a coming-of-age story as she struggles to find herself and her place in a complicated world where she is often torn between her duty, loyalty, and desire. She is lovely, curious, and naïve, and her growth throughout the story is fantastic.
The story switches perspectives between Carlota and Montgomery, and he is as intricately crafted and complex as Carlota. A broken man trying to forget the past, Montgomery forms a connection with Carlota. However, when a wealthy man named Eduardo arrives and shows interest in Carlota, secrets are exposed and lives are irrevocably changed. Eduardo, and other characters, including Carlota’s father, Eduardo, Lupe, Cachito, and even the hybrids, are also dynamically developed, interesting, and unique.
Something else I really liked about the story is the many messages about issues like the role of women in society, gender inequities, social responsibility, and what really makes a monster. I thought the social and political themes and commentary were powerful and thought-provoking, and though the story takes place in the 1870s, many of these issue are still relevant today.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is an atmospheric reimagining of a classic story, and includes mystery, suspense, secrets, an immersive plot, dynamic characters, and a unique and unexpected twist. I would definitely recommend it to readers of Moreno-Garcia’s previous works and people who enjoy atmospheric and thought-provoking stories. Thanks so much to DelRay Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The writing style.
- The characters.
Be sure to check the content warnings before reading the book. There are scenes and topics that could prove triggering for some readers.